Our sales consultants stayed busy repping SSCS technology in the Sunshine State.
In the Salinas Valley, where SSCS is headquartered, and especially on the neighboring Monterey Peninsula, February is quiet time. Sure, there’s the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, but aside from that rather large blip on the radar, things slow down and spread out around here. Gray weather discourages visitors—even day-trippers—and everything gets a little more sparse and…a little…more…drowsy.
The opposite is true when it comes to the retail petroleum calendar. It’s an active time. Industry events pile up faster than trees fallen by a Central Coast storm. Our sales consultants hit the road often during the season, providing information on technology to new and veteran convenience store operators looking for a business edge.
These past few weeks we were privileged to participate in three such events, fortunate that they all took place in the mild winter climate of the Sunshine State, Florida. Each had its own distinct flavor.
Sunoco Dealer/Distributor Meeting and Expo
Last week SSCS participated in the Sunoco LP Dealer/Distributor Meeting in the Lake Buena Vista, Florida, a municipality controlled by the Walt Disney Company and home to Disney’s Florida attractions. “It makes for a nice environment to spend a little down time in,” noted one of our reps.
We attend the invitation-only show every year, as Sunoco LP is a valued corporate partner of SSCS. The show brings together the entire Sunoco LP community, including convenience stores affiliated with the Sunoco brand (many of whom are our customers) as well as the suppliers with which Sunoco LP does business—whether they are food and beverage purveyors, POS suppliers, or providers of back office technology.
“It’s always a pleasure to catch up and get current on the latest happenings in the Sunoco universe, and this well-attended show provided that and more,” says SSCS’s Vice President of Sales, Shawn Herrick. “Sunoco is committed to growing their franchise business through their wholesale channel partners, so we are expecting a surge of exciting activity from their direction in the coming year.”
Florida Business Development Workshops
On Monday, February 11, and Wednesday, February 13, SSCS hosted two business development workshops for convenience store operators. Again these were in Florida—the first in Ocala, second in Ft. Lauderdale.
The workshops, which included a seminar and lunch for registered participants, were presented by a team of seasoned SSCS Sales Consultants. The focus was getting ahead of the convenience store competition by leveraging the data that passes through a store every day.
Each presentation started with an overview of the industry’s current performance to provide context for operators that haven’t yet tapped into technology. “I think most people in attendance—some which hadn’t yet invested in technology at all—were curious to see where they measured up in comparison to other operators,” says one presenter. “They came with the idea that they needed help and wondering if automation held the key to improvement. Our goal was to help them see where they were at and how SSCS technology could play a role in the professional growth of their business.”
NATSO is the only national trade association representing the travel plaza and truckstop industry. The organization’s annual get together, NATSO Connect, brings together truckstop operators and their industry partners to network and get exposure to training and information.
NATSO Connect—this year also taking place in Lake Buena Vista, Florida—gets us together with truck stop operators to share best practices and ideas about technology. Like others in petroleum retailing, this market segment has looked increasingly to c-stores, food service concepts, and franchising to help keep them profitable and thriving. In the modern world, aspiring to success necessitates a sensible strategy toward automating. SSCS was there to provide information and software demonstrations to help them form a technology plan that best works for them.
“There’s a tendency to think that since the industry has been around awhile technology is mostly old news to store owners,” explains our sales rep in attendance at NATSO Connect. “But many are still considering taking that first big step forward and SSCS wants to be there to support them when they are. This thirst for convenience store technology remains strong. We’re doing what we can to quench it.”